The changing facets of perfume
For many of us, favourite perfumes should remain so for always. But did you know that your sense of smell changes as you grow older? This might explain why certain foods smell different during midlife and more importantly (for perfume lovers), why their very favourite scent simply doesn't quite cut it any more.
Everyone's body chemistry is different and is influenced by hormones, skin type, diet, medications and much more. Hence the reason why you should never ever buy a perfume just because you like it on your friend. Always try it on your own skin first. Generally speaking, its the lighter fresher top notes like citrus and lily that will change on skin rather than the deeper richer amber and woody notes.
In my latest book Your Middle Years: Love them. Live them. Own them, Jo Fairley, author, fragrance lover and co-founder of The Perfume Society (amongst many other very grande accolades!) explains: "Our hormones can play tricks with favourite fragrances, altering the way they interact with the skin. (It’s the same reason why pregnant women are sometimes nauseated by a fragrance they have always loved.) Worryingly, though, a much-loved fragrance may change character without us even realising it – because there can also be a dwindling of our ability to smell: a natural process that begins in our 50s and can really become noticeable from 60+."
What to do
So rather than spraying directly onto the skin Fairley advises women to "spray perfume onto hems, cuffs and collars, or onto a cotton wool ball to be tucked inside your bra. (If spraying onto fabric; spritz it onto a white Kleenex first – and if it doesn’t leave a mark, it’s safe to use on pale clothing.) Or try a ‘voile’ of fragrance (as the French so romantically put it): Simply spray fragrance into the air, and walk through it, subtly perfuming your hair and your clothes. I’m also a big fan of spritzing my scarves and pashminas, creating a sort of personal ‘smellprint’ via the fragrances I love – which all tend to be within the same family, anyway, and therefore work wonderfully well together."
The good news? Once through menopause you can go back to wearing old favourites – if you still want to of course as you may have discovered some even more intoxicating scents along the way.
Summer in a bottle
On that note, summer has officially started for me with the arrival of my go-to #summerscent Mandrine by the queen of cologne Jo Malone (of JO Loves that is!). I simply adore every scent this inspiring women sets her creative juices to. This refreshingly sunny blend of bergamot oil, lemon-tree leaf and petitgrain peppered with thyme and crushed spices truly is summer in a bottle.
Try it for yourself. You won't be sorry!